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Appealing a Statement of SEN
It is not now possible to get a ‘new’ Statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN). Children or young people entering the system will be issued with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
Whilst no ‘new’ Statements can be issued, the deadline to convert all Statements to EHCP is April 2018. That means that issues regarding Statements will still develop until that time.
A child or young person should have a Statement if they have special educational needs and/or disability (SEND) which means that they require support beyond that available at a school or college.
The Statement should be set out in a particular format and contain the following:
- Part 1 – Introduction - Gives general information including the child’s name and address and date of birth. It also lists the names and addresses of the child’s parents.
- Part 2 - Special Educational Needs - Lists all of the child’s SEN as identified by the local authority during the statutory assessment and from the advice received and attached as appendices to the Statement.
- Part 3 - Special Educational Provision - Describes the provision that the local authority considers necessary to meet the child’s needs as described in Part 2. It should also list the objectives that the provision should aim to meet and the arrangements for monitoring progress in meeting those objectives. Provision in this section should be specific and quantified (although this is not always the case). This section is legally enforceable against the authority.
- Part 4 - Placement – This must state the type of school that the local authority considers necessary. It normally contains the name of a school that the local authority considers is capable of meeting the child’s SEN.
- Part 5 - Non-Educational Needs - Describes the child’s relevant non-educational needs, for example, health needs. There is no right of appeal against this section. This is why any educational needs must be set out in Part 2.
- Part 6 - Non-Educational Provision - Describes the non-educational provision that is required to meet the child’s non-educational needs. There is no right of appeal against this section. This is why any educational provision must be set out in Part 3.
How we can help
Parts 2, 3 and 4 of the Statement can be appealed to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST).
The Statement must provide an accurate description of the child’s SEN. The provision must be sufficient to cater for those needs. The placement must be adequate to be able to host the provision.
There is a substantial amount of case law about the content of a Statement and how it should be drafted. This should all be considered when appealing the content of a Statement. This may also require further expert advice in the preparation of an appeal.
The SENDIST must receive the appeal form within two months of the date of a final Statement.
We can help you to prepare an appeal to the SENDIST, including compiling your evidence, seeking further evidence as necessary, and making written representations. We can also represent you at the final hearing should you need us to.
It is important to be able to present the case in such a way that the evidence that you have supports your case with reference to the law. We will provide clear and detailed advice, from the outset, about your prospects of success and any further evidence that may be required.
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